Throughout the El Centro Field Office management area, we are seeing a tremendous amount of youth riders and want to ensure they and their parents understand the rules for operating OHVs so that they are safe and can meet legal requirements if contacted by law enforcement.  

California Vehicle Code section 38503 states that anyone under 18 operating an ATV shall either: 1) currently be taking a safety course under supervision; 2) are in possession of an ATV safety certificate; or 3) under the supervision of an adult who is in possession of an ATV certificate.  Additionally, those under 14 must always be under the supervision of an adult and must either: 1) possess an ATV safety certificate or; 2) the adult must possess an ATV certificate. 

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The American Sand Association through our consortium with EcoLogic Partners, Inc., submitted a comment letter to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in response to their status review of the Flat-Tailed Horned Lizard (FTHL); all in response to a Petition filed by the Center for Biological Diversity to list the FTHL under the California Endangered Species Act.

EcoLogic Partners, Inc. consists of the American Sand Association, San Diego Off-Road Coalition, the American Motorcyclists Association District 37, and the Off Road Business Association.

A copy of EcoLogic’s comment letter can be found here.

Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) introduced HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act. This bill presents a balanced approach to protecting, managing, and using our desert and forest areas in San Bernardino and Inyo Counties. This bill would deal with the management of existing federal land and would not result in an increase in federal landownership.

This bill establishes a Mojave Trails Special Management Area (SMA) in an area south of the existing Mojave Preserve and northeast of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. This designation protects existing mining operations and allows for future mining exploration as long as mining projects never exceed ten percent of the total acreage. It would also prevent the installation of any industrial-scale renewable energy projects. Additionally, this bill would protect from development any lands within the management area donated to the federal government for conservation purposes. Over 1,200 miles of roads and off-road vehicle trails are written into law as well.

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Closed to vehicles marker

HOW IMPORTANT IS OFF-ROADING TO YOU?

If Glamis and Johnson Valley, and Dumont and Ocotillo Wells (pick your favorite OHV spot) closed would you care? Does the amount of money you have invested in OHV toys, trailers and RV’s really mean anything to you? Would you just…give it all away? You certainly couldn’t sell it. With no riding areas, the stuff would be worthless.

Don’t think it will happen? Guess again. Remember Rice Dunes? How about Kelso Dunes? How about Stoddard Valley? White Water? Ring any bells?

If you’re not scared, you should be. What do you know about Microbembex elegans and Stictiella villegasi (they are bees)? And how about Prasinalia imperialis and Agrilus harenus? (They are beetles.) How about the Flat Tailed Horned Lizard? The bugs were just (4) of (16) insects that the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) would like to see listed as Endangered at Glamis, and using that, to close Imperial Sand Dunes down completely. The Lizard is part of that crowd. The CBD is working hard to get those and other species listed to be used to close riding areas. Those are just the tip of the iceberg.

Quote from the CBD website:
“Off-road vehicles have become a leading threat to the ecological integrity of many of our country’s most biologically rich public lands. The Center is working diligently to protect these valuable areas.”

Just how diligently is the CBD working? They have a staff of over 100. Their legal staff has 32 members. Twenty seven of them are attorneys. They have net assets of over 13 MILLION dollars. Yes. Count that again 13 MILLION!

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